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the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. eternal father, we thank you for the life and legacy of the man called madiba, nelson mandela, and for the exemplary footprints he left in the sands of time, inspired by his great life, may our lawmakers deal fairly and wisely with the great issues of
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our time. lord, help our senators to remain tethered to a firm faith in you, committing their lives and our country to your will. may they demonstrate their faith daily, remembering that faith without action is not real. empower them to work together for the peace and prosperity of america as they seek spiritual moorings in today's turbulent times. we pray in your merciful name. amen. the presiding officer:
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please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington d.c., december 9, 2013. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable christopher murphy, a senator from the state of connecticut, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: patrick j. leahy, president pro tempore. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i move to proceed to calendar number 243. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: motion to proceed to the consideration of calendar number 243, s. 1356, a bill to amend the workforce investment
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act of 1998, and so forth and for other purposes. mr. reid: mr. president, following my remarks and those of the republican leader, the senate will be in morning business until 4:00 this afternoon. at 4:00 the senate will resume consideration of the national defense authorization act. at 5:00 p.m. the senate will proceed to executive session to consider the nomination of patricia millett to be united states circuit judge for the d.c. circuit postcloture. at 5:30 the senate will vote on confirmation of the millett nomination. mr. president, i think there are four bills, and the clerk can help both of us, at the desk due for second reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will read for the second time. the clerk: s. 1774, a bill to reauthorize the undetectable firearms act of 1988 for one year. s. 1775, a bill to improve the sexual assault prevention and response programs and activities of the department of defense and
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for other purposes. h.r. 1965, an act to streamline and insure onshore energy permitting, provide for onshore leasing certainty and provide certainty to oil asia -- oil shale development and so forth and for other purposes. an act to regulate state's authority to recognize gas operations and promote energy security, development and job creation. mr. reid: mr. president, i would object to any further proceedings with respect to these two bills en bloc. the presiding officer: objections having been heard, the bills will be placed on the calendar. mr. reid: mr. president, welcome back. i hope that you and staff and all the other senators had a wonderful thanksgiving. it was very good thanksgiving for us. we had all of our children and all of our grandchildren except one. she had to work. she lives in new york now.
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mr. president, this week the united states begins a short two-week work period, and i hope it's only two weeks. but it could lead over into over the weekend before christmas. i know that i come to this floor and say a lot of times we're going to have to work weekends, but, mr. president, we may really have to work the next couple of weekends. we've had a wonderful two-week break. it was important for all of us. but before i discuss the business before this body, i mourn, like we all mourn, but i also celebrate the life of south africa's great emancipator, nelson mandela. he once said -- quote -- "difficulties break some men but make others. " his dedication to peace and justice was forged really in the fire of adversity, 27 years in prison among other things.
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while he endured great hardship for the cause of suffrage, his capacity for forgiveness was just really boundless as his dedication to democracy, freedom and equality was. he leaves a legacy that is going to be so significant, it will inspire current and future leaders for generations to come. mr. president, now with our schedule, this week is south africa mourns the founder of its democracy, the senate must continue its work in our democracy. i suggest to my colleagues that before the senate will -- that the senate, as i've indicated, will work long nights, i think we're going to come in earlier than we normally do and possibly weekends to complete this workload we have before the holidays. during this next work period, the one we're engaged in we must complete work on the national defense authorization act. it's my understanding that the two bodies, the two committees have come up with something, i
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hope that we get a house on thiy quickly. we must address the issueadditit we must pass an agriculture jobs conference report. we must ensure seniors on medicare can keep their doctors by adjusting physician payments. we must consider a large number of nominations. and we must complete a budget agreement that protects our economy and ensures our government can continue the work of the people. i'm not going to talk about each of these things individually other than i think it is so shortsighted what the republicans are doing regarding the s.g.r., or physician payments for medicare. there's money to take care of this, mr. president. a number of different sources, not the least of which is the overseas contingency funds. we had money set aside for the
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wars in iran and afghanistan. they are being phased out. there is still almost $1 trillion left. i cannot understand why the republicans refuse to use that money. no one except the republicans oppose closing these loopholes, these tax loopholes. it is only the republicans in congress that oppose them, not republicans around the country. these loopholes are so big, you could drive the biggest vehicle in the world through them, mr. president. but we're where we are. despite the cost of the republican shutdown this fall, last week's jobs report proves the american economy continues to gain steam. private sector businesses have added more than eight million jobs over the last 45 consecutive months. if kweupbsz -- republicans insisted on short-term cuts that
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laid off teachers, firefighters, the economy would be growing even faster than it is today. mr. president, the presiding officer knows, we all know that we need an infrastructure program. for every $1 billion we spend as a government on infrastructure, roads, bridges, dams, highways, water systems, sewer systems, we create almost 50 thousand high-paying jobs. despite last week's good economic news, congress can and must do even more to create jobs for millions of americans who are still looking for work. unemployment compensation. mr. president, we need these extended benefits. there's 1.5 million people in america who have been out of work for more than 26 weeks. we must replace meat-ax cuts. this happened with the sequestration, a smart savings. reducing the deficit by closing wasteful tax loopholes and making job-creating investments to spur economic growth. as we close out this year, i
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hope republicans and democrats can put aside our differences and work together to produce results for the middle class. mr. president, the presiding officer has served in the house. i've served in the house. ii'm fortunate to serve here in the senate. mr. president, when i first came to this body, democrats had their focus on what they thought the foundation of democracy was. the republicans did the same. they thought they knew the right thing to do. but you know, mr. president, we could never get what we wanted. each side couldn't get what they thought was the way it should be. so what did we do? we worked together and came up with compromises to move legislation forward. let's get back to where we were. that's what this body needs. so, i hope we can put aside our differences and work together like we used to. it's also time for republicans to work with us instead of against us to make the landmark
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health reform bill more workable. i remind my republican colleagues that the affordable care act is the law and has been the law of the land for four years. and it was upheld by the supreme court. as democrats have predicted for months, enrollment in the affordable care act exchanges is picking up speed as we approach the new year. as americans learn more about the benefits of this law, more and more of them are logging on to shop for affordable quality insurance through the state and national exchanges. the rollout of the national affordable care act was rocky, to say the least, when it came out. congress had to make crucial improvements to other landmark programs such as social security and medicare when they were first enacted as well. these big legislative deals can have some wrinkles in them. it doesn't mean social security is bad. it doesn't mean that medicare is bad. it means they're hard to get
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started, and it's just the same as obamacare. but now i repeat, mr. president, many of the major problems with the health care law have been fixed hundreds of thousands of americans are logging on every day to research plans that they think could work for them and sign up for insurance that they know they need. states that embrace the affordable care act, such as kentucky and washington, have also reported successes with their exchanges. and thanks to the health care law and a few short weeks, no one can ever again be denied insurance just because they have a preexisting condition. because they are a cancer survivor, because they live with diabetes, because they had acne growing up or they're a woman. because of this landmark law, insurance companies can no longer cancel your policy when you get sick, charge you more -- i repeat -- because you're a woman or set an arbitrary limit on care that you receive. millions of seniors have saved billions of dollars on medicine because of the affordable care
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act. why? because it closed the gap in prescription drug coverage, the so-called doughnut hole. millions of young people stayed on their parents health plans and 17 million americans will qualify for tax credits to purchase the coverage they need and coverage they deserve. there are still problems with the affordable care act, and we can make it better if we work together. but we can't improve the law without help from some reasonable republicans. it's time for my republican colleagues to give up their fantasy of repealing the law that's already benefiting tens of millions of americans and start working with us to make the affordable care act succeed instead. would the chair announce the business of the day? the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will be in a period of morning business until 4:00 p.m. with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each.
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the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: i ask unanimous consent to dispense with the
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quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: thank you, mr. president. 75 years ago, president roosevelt signed the fair labor standards act written in part by senator hugo black of alabama who actually used -- sat at this desk as he was writing the minimum wage law and some of the fair labor standards act legislation in the 1930's. this legislation ensured that american workers would receive a minimum wage and work reasonable hours. we know what that's done for families in this country. we also know that the minimum wage hasn't even been close to keeping up with the cost of living, with inflation. we also know a number of other things, mr. president, about the minimum wage. minimum wage is now $7.25 an hour. many of -- many of minimum-wage workers working -- making $7.25 or $8 or $9 an hour -- less than we want to raise the minimum wage, too, so all would get

Senate Session
CSPAN December 9, 2013 2:00pm-2:31pm EST

News/Business. The floor of the Senate. (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 6, Mr. Reid 5, America 3, Nelson Mandela 2, United States 2, Medicare 2, Mr. Brown 2, Dr. Barry 1, Patricia Millett 1, Patrick J. Leahy 1, Kentucky 1, Iran 1, D.c. Circuit Postcloture 1, Lord 1, Obamacare 1, Christopher Murphy 1, Hugo 1, South Africa 1, New York 1, Washington D.c. 1
Network CSPAN
Duration 00:31:00
Rating TV-MA
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel v109
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

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